Birthdays Friday, Apr 23 2004 

April 23rd was Jerry’s dad’s birthday. He has been in heaven for quite a few years now, but it is nice to remember him on this day. It is also my nephew Jeff Guderian’s birthday as well. His birthday is always easy to remember because it falls on Dad Reimer’s birthday.

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Staff Prayer Friday, Apr 23 2004 

My friend Cathy did staff prayer today. She always does something extraordinary, at least in my books. Today she had the front of the sanctuary lit with candles and she talked about “doing” and how we do not often take time out to just “be”. She talked specifically about staff coming to a service on the weekend and just end up “doing”. So she created an opportunity for us to just be still and listen. The music she put together was amazing. I just closed my eyes and went inside myself to connect with my innermost being. It was a beautiful and refreshing time for me. It brought my world into perspective and made me realize again that I cannot fix everyone’s problems, but I can bring them to someone who can.

Family Thursday, Apr 22 2004 

Matt and Jesika will be home from Indonesia on Saturday afternoon. We will be at the Calgary International Airport to pick them up. We will then travel to Canmore and spend a week with them, just hanging out. I can hardly wait. It is so good to know that your kids just want to hang out with you. We will eat lots, sleep lots, watch movies, play cards, laugh, talk, go for coffee or tea or whatever, probably eat out, read books, discuss life, talk about spirituality, spend some time in Calgary, and anything else we decide. It will be fun.

I also am a little sad as Tamara will not be there. I know she will be missing us as family is so important to her and she loves to go on vacation. As our children become adults they make lives of their own and sometimes that is not close to home. When we get home Matt will get our mike all set up so we can do some webcam with her. That will be awesome! We’ll be able to see her and talk to her at the same time.

Tomorrow Jerry will have completed 35 years of employment. It just doesn’t seem that long since we were starting off on our life’s journey together. We will also be married 35 years this June. I guess that makes me older than 39!!!

I haven’t talked about my niece Heather on this blog, but I will tonight. Heather is battling with cancer for the second time in her young life. She is an amazing young wife and mother who has not be given an easy road to walk. Her husband Greg is one of the most encouraging people I have met. I also believe he has a great gift of faith. Heather and her siblings David and Christa, have always been a big part of our lives. Our two families spent many times together over the years doing holidays together, camping out at The Narrows, ever since David, Heather and Christa were babies. Heather also spent time in our home living with us her first year of University, and over the next years would often pop in to visit or stay with us for awhile. We do have some funny stories of how we moved her out of her one apartment in two hours one afternoon! She has surgery scheduled for May 4th, if everything goes to plan. She has a few more tests to go through before that, so we hope everything turns out well. Hopefully we will get a chance to visit with her, Greg and Kieran. this week. Matt and Jesika haven’t seen Kieran, who is 7 months, and the last time Matt saw Heather, it was the day before Kieran was born. Our prayer continues to be for strength and courage for the days ahead. The Psalms say that “We can make our plans, but God directs our steps”. We are not alone, God Himself watches over us.

Friends Thursday, Apr 22 2004 

What would life be without friends? I had the awesome opportunity today to connect with some of my good friends.

Carrie Church and I headed out to Tim’s this morning. What a great way to start the day! Great visit! Carrie and I met every week for at least a couple of years. She would head over to my house on Monday mornings with Ethan and we would spend the morning together talking about life and doing studies together. She is an amazing young woman and it was so fun to catch up on her life. Her twins were a year old yesterday. Hard to imagine how fast the time flies. It is always such an encouragement to hear how they are growing in their spirituality as well. Thanks Carrie for being my friend.

Mike Gingerich and I met for lunch at Jake’s. First time I have been there and really liked it. I liked the atmosphere – it reminded me of a small restaurant Jerry and I went to while we were in Koh Samui, Thailand. The Spinach salad with raspbery vinegerette dressing was amazing. Better still was the company. Mike is another special person in my life. Again I am so encouraged as I see his growth in so many areas – as a dad, husband, student and friend. He does not realize how much influence he has because of the wisdom collected inside of his “balding” head! His way of speaking truth is very profound. I also know his heart inside that BIG body is “as soft as butter”. Mike always gets “teary eyed” when he talks about his daughter Emma. She is something else!! Thanks Mike for being you!

I connect with so many people every day and each brings something special to my life. Today walking down the hall at Lakeview I was trying to “quietly” passed some people who were having a conversation in the hall. Suddenly it was like I hit a brick wall and there was Chester giving me a hug. It was amazing! It was also very funny! Me trying to be quiet going down the hall as I ended up being a little noisy when I hit Chester! There are so many great people working at Lakeview and they each bring their own special gifts to the atmopshere there. It is a great place to be!

I spent some time talking to my friend Kathy this afternoon. Sometimes life just isn’t fair and it feels too difficult to go on. Kathy is an amazing woman who just keeps on keeping on. She has been a big part of my life the past year and a half and I am privileged to be her friend. Being a good friend is being there for the good and the not so good. Sometimes we don’t have any answers, but we can continue to encourage and walk alongside. Every one has worth and value and in God’s Kingdom there are no “losers”. We are all precious in his sight.

I spent some time today with Donella who is in the Palliative Care Unit at St. Pauls. What a wonderful talk we had today as we [prayed and cried together talking about our children, our lives and going to heaven. Cancer is never kind to us, but God’s grace gives us the strength to walk through it. Donella has wonderful children and she is so thankful for them in her life. As we said today, “It will be worth it all when we see Jesus. Life’s trials will seem so small when we see Him. One glimpse of His dear face, all sorrow will erase. So briefly run the race, ’til we see Christ.”

I spent the evening with Camille Rabuka. We meet every second Wednesday to discuss the book we are reading together. I just love this gal! She fell today going up the stairs to answer the phone – she actually missed the first step and in trying to brace herself from the fall, she ended up cutting a deep gush in her right “pinkie” and fracturing the tip of it. She is full of “vim and vigor”. Dark red natural curly hair always with a bright smile. We talked today about exemplifying Christ’s love in our lives and how that looks. Camille is a living example of that but she doesn’t realize that. She just does what her heart tells her – that is just who she is. It is so refreshing to see someone her age loving Jesus and loving others with the love of Jesus. She truly is a gift.

108182871538091352 Monday, Apr 12 2004 

I haven’t been into the blogging too much lately. My life seems pretty normal and not too much to write about. So, anyhow, here are a few things that have occurred.

On Good Friday, my good friend and co-worker, Cathy Johnson, and I walked The Way of The Cross. I found it to be a wonderful experience. The air was cool and the sun was shining and it was brisk out. There must have been around 150 people. The theme was “Justice” and I enjoyed all the stations, but Cathy and I did laugh a bit about the militant reading regarding the media. I found all the other readings and prayers very meaningful. The cross was carried at the front by different people, women, different nationalities and First Nations people. The singing of the songs as we walked from one station to another was very moving. I didn’t know any of the songs except one, but enjoyed so much hearing the people around me singing the words. All in all, a great morning experiencing “Good Friday”.

I then headed back to our church, Lakeview Free Methodist Church, and served communion to those who had come to participate in the communion time. We had rented the movie theatre to show The Passion of The Christ, and since I had seen it already, I gave my ticket away, as we had run out of tickets. Talking to many different people, it had been the right thing to do for Good Friday service.

Jerry and I found the movie, The Passion of The Christ, very emotional and moving. We sat quietly for a long time in the theatre before leaving. Even after we left we did not talk. I can’t exactly articulate what I experienced or felt, but it was very profound. I want to go and see the movie again. I know there was much I missed in the first viewing. One of Jerry’s friends was at the movie and this was his fourth time seeing it. Very excellent production.

On Saturday evening we went to the Jazz Bassment to hear Dave Nelson and his quintet perform. We went with Neil and Elizabeth and really enjoyed the evening. Dave is quite an accomplished jazz player and his son Jeremy, and his daughter Mary Joy and Vanessa, performed with him and the rest of his quintet. I especially enjoyed the singing of Vanessa. She has a wonderful presence and sings jazz wonderfully. Very enjoyable evening.

Easter Sunday – the celebration of the risen Christ. Celebrated with family and good friends. Lorne and Doris came from Prince Albert, and we were joined by Kathy Macey, Jordon, Wendy and Mark Cooper. We shared a great meal together; had fun watching Mark do his Easter Egg hunt; enjoyed great conversation and good food. Very enjoyable time.

Had lunch today at my favorite place to eat, McNally, Robinson, and my favorite place to shop for books. It never seems to fail that every time I go in that store, I end up buying another book – at least the last couple of times it has been from the bargain book shelves. Some good buys there. Had lunch with Kelly and Brooke Graham, and Donna Nakrayko, Brooke’s mom and my very good friend. Good conversations again about life and what we are learning from the different books we read. Brooke is blossoming! Their baby is due on July 13th. That will be an exciting day. They bought a crib yesterday, so are very excited.

Like I said, my life hasn’t been too exciting, but I am okay with that. I believe we learn most in the mundane of life. As we are faithful each day in the little things, we learn the lessons to handle the bigger things that come along our path in life.

I am missing my kids. They seem so faaaaaaaaaaaaaar away, on the other side of the earth. It seems like forever before we will see Tamara again. She is busy making plans to travel some more and it isn’t in this direction. Haven’t heard from Matt and Jesika for a couple of weeks, so am hoping that they didn’t fall off the other side of the earth.

Pretty soon Spring will be here for good and I will be able to get out and putter in my flower gardens. I think it will feel good to feel the sun on my back and the cool earth on my hands and fingers. I am starting to plan what flowers I will plant this year. Should be interesting!

Ice Cream Saturday, Apr 3 2004 

We are back from having our birthday ice cream at Jerrys. Don and Jerry had this huge ice cream serving – a large piece of ice cream cake in the middle, and two huge mounds of soft ice cream on each side of the cake, all topped with chocolate sauce and peanuts! Incredible! They both finished it all and almost licked their plates!! We were also joined by our friends Pam and Jacob Beatty. All of us used to be in a Small Group together. We had lots of laughs. It was a great evening!

Family Saturday, Apr 3 2004 

Our kids are doing well, at least from what we hear from them. Tamara is still hanging out in Kaihsiung, Taiwan, and appears to be there until December and February of next year. She is still talking about heading out to New Zealand after that. Doesn’t look like she will be around Saskatoon soon. Her roommate’s father just died of cancer in South Africa and was heading home for awhile. Life always brings us those situations when we least expect them. Tamara was organizing ways they could help Cecilia and her family in the next days. Tamara was telling me how her and Cecilia were singing hymns together, like “The Old Rugged Cross”. You see Tamara always liked either her dad or me to rub her back and sing to her before she would go to sleep at night. I often sang all the hymns I had learned as a child to her and it looks like some of the words worked their way into her life as well. I used to tease Tamara and tell her that either her dad and I would have to come along on her honeymoon to rub her back and sing her to sleep. The getting married hasn’t happened yet, so I think we may be out of a job in that department!!!

Matt and Jesika are still travelling in and about Indonesia. We received an email from them that they were heading out to some other remote Indonesian Island and that we probably wouldn’t hear from them for about a week. They are having an amazing time this last month on their travels. They will be heading back soon and heading out treeplanting to make some money for next year. They will be home in Calgary on April 24th, not that long away.

Life in general Saturday, Apr 3 2004 

It is so awesome to feel the warm sun. Jerry and I haven’t been feeling the greatest lately, but it feels like we are on the road to recovery. Jerry spent the whole day in the garage cleaning and setting up space for his new toolbox, which makes him very happy. As I was helping him, by holding some wood steady which is about all I am qualified to do when it comes to making things, he talked about how dad loved to take time to make things as well, like the base for the circular saw Jerry was using to cut his wood. Good memories of dad in his workshop where he spent many hours creating.

It is Jerry’s birthday tomorrow, April 4th, and he will be 57. Time does fly! Not planning anything special. We are going out for ice cream with our friends Don and Bev Fry tonight after church. That is probably the best gift we could give Jerry. Ice cream is his second love, after me, of course. I am sure it will be Jerry’s as my Jerry says that is the best place for ice cream in Saskatoon and area. We will celebrate Bev’s birthday as well as her birthday is on April 8th. I won’t tell you her age, but she is younger than Jerry!

I have been reading a book on Thomas Merton’s life, who was a Trappist Monk and a great author and speaker. God does work so incredibly in all of our lives and often we don’t even realize what is happening. This is a great read and am enjoying it immensely.

I also just finished reading a novel by Anne Lamott called “Blue Shoe”. Once I began to read it I couldn’t put it down. It is just about daily living and how to deal with different issues in our lives when they come up. Very realistic writing! Enjoyed her “off the wall” humour. This is the first book of hers I have read, but I understand her other books “Traveling Mercies” and “Bird by Bird” are very good as well. Hopefully I will be able to borrow one of them from someone to read over the Easter weekend.

Awesome News Saturday, Apr 3 2004 

My nephew David is getting married to Jocelyn in July. I just talked to him and congratulated him. He is living in San Diego now, but will be moving to San Francisco where he has been accepted at Berkeley University to complete his PhD. I have not met Jocelyn personally, but have talked to her via telephone, and I have it from great sources that she is wonderful. They are having a small wedding with just immediate family, which I think is wonderful. Our son Matt and his wonderful wife Jesika, did the very same thing when they were married two years ago in Vancouver. Congratulations David and Jocelyn! We are so happy for you on this awesome occasion.